In the previous episodes of our Advent series, I’ve talked about
hope and peace. Now I’d like to look at what happens when that hope is
fulfilled. To do that, I want to take you back to the night of Christ’s birth.
At that time, Bethlehem was an agrarian town with a
population of about 1,000 people – and a small percentage of those were
shepherds. But shepherding today is a little different than it was back then.
Not only did you have to contend with lions, wolves and bears – but you also
had to sleep with the sheep! Shepherds were outcasts, people who didn’t fit
into the social norms of their time. But all that changed on the first
We find the account in the Gospel of Luke:
“There were shepherds living out in the fields nearby,
keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to
them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But
the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will
cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a
Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord’” (Luke 2:8-11).
But the story doesn’t end there. After hearing the “good
news,” these shepherds rushed down the hill, found Jesus in the manger and told
Mary and Joseph what they had heard. And after that, “The shepherds returned, glorifying and
praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which
were just as they had been told”
I really like about this story is that even though Jesus hadn’t necessarily
saved anyone yet, the shepherds still glorified and praised God. They had faith
that all the things the angel had told them would come to pass. It reminds me
that when we put our trust in Christ, we can rest in the knowledge of his
timing and his power to work his miracles. And that assurance is
something that brings me great joy.